Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Telemarketing Standards That Are Shared By Social Media
Many business professionals are hailing social media as the tool that's revolutionizing 21st century marketing. It's new. It's young. It's keeping with the times. Plenty of social media experts are saying that even B2B companies should start looking to social media as their new mode for marketing. Could this be the end of traditional B2B marketing forms such as telemarketing?
The truth is every trend has its critics and the emphasis on social media being all young and hip is one prime area of vulnerability. A good example was just published last week by Inc.com: 11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn't Run Your Social Media.
What's interesting is that the reasons do not only identify the traits of a more appropriate social media manager. These same traits have long been sought out in professional telemarketers and call center agents.
“1. They're not mature enough.” - Maturity is critical for any kind of marketing agent, regardless if they use telemarketing or social media. Maturity and accountability are important ingredients in marketing as well as sales.
“2. They may be focused on their own social-media activity.” - You think only social media managers need to be monitored? Think again. Productivity is not just demanded of telemarketing agents but all employees in general.
“3. They may not have the same etiquette--or experience.” - It can actually be argued that telemarketing has a higher standard than social media when it comes to this. Long before social media ever became a marketing trend, telemarketing companies have been recording and reviewing messages for substance and consistency.
“4. You can't control their friends.” - Using company resources to communicate with friends has never been a good idea to begin with, whether it's social media or through telemarketing. It's not very professional.
“5. No class can replace on-the-job training.” - The experience of actually working in the field has always been a common selling point among telemarketing companies. On the other hand, even extensive experience on social networking is shorter in comparison given that it's still a young face in the whole of marketing.
“6. They may not understand your business.” - Naturally, any sort of marketer should be familiar with what they're marketing. Again, social media isn't alone. Don't forget that there are other effective marketing practices, such as telemarketing.
“7. Communication skills are critical.” - Communication is another key ingredient in marketing. Agents should be able to relay it clearly, whether in writing or speech.
“8. Humor is tricky business.” - It's not just about humor but propriety. Just as social networking needs to draw boundaries, so should telemarketing agents.”
“9. Social-media savvy is not the same as technical savvy.” - Being good at talking on the phone isn't a mark of a good telemarketer either. They too are required to have additional skills like database management as well as familiarity with processes like appointment setting.
“10. Social-media management can become crisis management.” - Handling emergency cases is necessary when telemarketing is used for customer support. They're not eager to make common mistakes either nor are they eager for their consequences.
“11. You need to keep the keys.” - Having access to records and controlling the tools being used isn't exclusive to social media or even telemarketing. There are limits to free reign and where they start is where higher management begins.
To summarize, the dangers of hiring inexperienced social networking managers are no different from the dangers of hiring any other kind of inexperienced marketing agent. Fortunately, telemarketing has long set up standards to minimize these dangers whereas social media has just begun!